The definition of the word genremeans a style or category of film. It is the grouping of films that tend to sharesimilar themes, iconography, character plots and other factors. A genreconvention is a set of defined rules that help an audience distinguish onegenre from another, focusing in particular on what is typical and acceptedwithin a specific genre of film. The reason genre conventions are significant is that it gives an audience an underlying expectationthat help to condition a response to a particular film and the familiarity of agenre film promises each spectator to be able to anticipate what will happen.
Theyfocus on the agreed expectations that have already been established within aspecific genre. TheWestern genre has always been one of the most leading genres of the Americanfilm industry. In essence, a Western film involves the American frontier typicallyset in the late 19th century commonly featuring characters such ascowboys, out-laws, Native Americans as well as settlers in the region. Accordingto the American Film Institute, a Western film is a genre of films set in theAmerican West that embodies the spirit, struggle and the demise of the newfrontier². SergioLeone’s ‘Once Upon A Time In The West’ is widely known as one of the most successfulSpaghetti-westerns ever made. Because of the success Sergio Leone’s filmmakingstyle had gained him, the term Spaghetti-western was created, coined mainly byAmerican critics as a belittling term used to describe a sub-genre of Westernfilms.
These were mostly directed and produced by Italians and many foreigncritics strongly believed these were inferior to American Westerns. Despite theWestern film being one of the most prominent and ominous genres withinHollywood, by the 1950s the industry was producing fewer Western films thanever before. The rise of popularity and interest in television within America wasthe cause of this, ultimately resulting in an influx of Westerns being producedfor the small screen. Overseas however, where television was not catching on soquickly, the demand for Western films never dwindled.